Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Hill County Commission vs. Shirley Isbell
Earlier this week, KRTV, our local Great Falls CBS affiliate, did a story on the decision made by the Commission. Go here to read the story and view the video: http://www.krtv.com/news/hill-county-cuts-full-time-superintendent-position-to-part-time/ (click on the video icon in the title for the video)
The Commission said the cut was necessary, but more questions remain. The vote to cut the position from full-time to half-time was to save money, not responsibility, right? So basically nothing changes in this job, the newly elected person has to do everything Shirley has been doing, just with half the pay. Now the blame for this decision is laid upon the much lower than expected tax revenue, but the other decisions this Commission has made in the last few years offer a different perspective entirely. The Commission chose not to make changes in the area of health insurance for employees because currently County employees are eligible for 100% employer based funding of their health insurance--a perk not afforded many of the folks who pay the taxes that support this major budget priority. They didn't have a problem finding the money to remodel the basement, or the steps over and over and over either. Let's face reality, the Commission can find the money necessary to fund any priority it deems necessary, any other project, no such luck.
Note also that the savings for this cut will go the County General Fund to be spent elsewhere and not returned to the taxpayers. Once again I have to wonder why the Commission has not cut this position before or didn't just simple eliminate it altogether if the savings here was so simple. It also begs the question where else can we cut?
You have the opportunity to help send one of the Hill County Commissioners packing by filing for this seat in just a few short hours. Let's find someone who can rescue our taxpayers and put these priorities into some perspective. Don't lose sleep for Mike Anderson though, as Commissioner Wendland showed in the KRTV clip, there's a place in showbiz if this gig doesn't work out and I hear NBC might just be looking for a late night host soon. If Anderson's budget priorities and the bungled basement job stand as any proof of his sense of humor, then the Late Show should be in for a riot because up until now, the joke has been on us folks!
We are interested in your opinion of this decision, please consider voting in the poll and as always we look forward to your comments.